People

Ben Long

Ben Long

Ben Long is a father, conservationist and outdoorsman in Kalispell, Montana. His writing appears in Outdoor Life, Bugle and he is the founding editor of Backcountry Journal.

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Hunting Seasons May Have Ended this Ailment

Upland Birds

Hunting Seasons May Have Ended this Ailment

Ruffed grouse are widely considered one of the more delectable upland game birds. But did you know they might also be poisonous? Odd as it seems, there is a fairly extensive—and largely forgotten—body of medical literature detailing unfortunate souls who have been poisoned by eating ruffed grouse...
Are Bison Wildlife? Colorado Conservation Group Asks State Game Agency

Wildlife Management

Are Bison Wildlife? Colorado Conservation Group Asks State Game Agency

America just can’t seem to make up its mind about bison. The buffalo is the official National Mammal of the United States and a lost icon of the West, to borrow from Steve Rinella’s book on the topic. Yet we are stuck with a strange double-vision when it comes to this massive, if inconvenient, beast...
How to Use Whitetail Tactics for Farmland Elk

Elk

How to Use Whitetail Tactics for Farmland Elk

Spin through an elk hunting website or magazine and you’ll see a lot of rugged backcountry—a mountain setting with a mule packstring, or at least hiking boots and trekking poles. But a new world-record archery bull taken in 2020 drives home an emerging fact: The world of North American elk is being...
Does Your Dog’s Nose Work Better Than a Grizzly’s?

Predators

Does Your Dog’s Nose Work Better Than a Grizzly’s?

Imagine a proud new dog owner bragging up their new pup—a hound like Mingus or a retriever like Snort. “My dog has a better nose than a grizzly bear,” he or she boasts. Should you believe them? After all, from the outside, a dog’s and a bear’s noses look very similar. Humans have bred dog...
Why Hunters Accidentally Shoot Each Other

Big Game

Why Hunters Accidentally Shoot Each Other

A hunter’s worst nightmare happened this past deer season in Ohio. And again in Minnesota. Both situations were “mistaken for game” shootings, where hunters opened fire on fellow hunters or just unlucky people who happened nearby, believing they were taking game. Both situations ended in death, one...
Bar Room Banter: The Drunken Grizzlies of Marias Pass

Wildlife Management

Bar Room Banter: The Drunken Grizzlies of Marias Pass

There’s a difference between book smart and bar smart. You may not be book smart, but this series can make you seem educated and interesting from a barstool. So, belly up, mix yourself a glass of LMNT Recharge, and take notes as we look at how you could literally get away with murder in Yellowstone...
Stoning Grouse: A Traditional, Legal Conundrum

Anthropology

Stoning Grouse: A Traditional, Legal Conundrum

Out West, one of the oldest traditions of big game hunting is harvesting the occasional grouse when hunting for antlered game is slow. You could say that grouse are an elk hunter’s consolation prize. Previously, I never thought much about how I went about killing those birds; I just used whatever...
Can the Great Bear Survive Today’s Great Plains?

Endangered Species

Can the Great Bear Survive Today’s Great Plains?

Encountering a grizzly bear has long been a potential happenstance on Montana’s mountain trails. But an expanding population of grizzlies in the Big Sky prairies have created a new kind of encounter, such as “the Bear in the Barn.” This summer, 50-year-old farmer Shannun Rammell got word from a...
How to Predator-Proof Big Game Herds

Wildlife Management

How to Predator-Proof Big Game Herds

Maybe you’ve been there: You’re hunting and haven’t seen a hoofprint all day. Then there are tracks tearing up the snow—but instead of deer or elk, they are wolf, bear, or mountain lion. As predator populations have expanded across the West in recent decades, so has the debate about what to do about...
Bar Room Banter: The Bible’s Grizzly Bear Attack

Grizzly Bear

Bar Room Banter: The Bible’s Grizzly Bear Attack

There’s a difference between book smart and bar smart. You may not be book smart, but this series can make you seem educated and interesting from a barstool. So, belly up, pour yourself a glass of something good, and take notes as we look at the deadliest bear attack in written history. The Good...